Neck Cross Akimov 101.062 «Crucifix. The Kazan icon of the Mother of God with interceding saints»
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"A large next-to-skin anchor-shaped cross (the ancient type of a cross, the symbol of hope and salvation) is decorated with the icons of Christ, of the Mother of God, and of the saints famous for struggling against evil spirits, sorcerers, and adherents of a different faith, as well as against any kind of evil.
On the cross obverse Sts. Cyprian and Justina stand beside the crucified Saviour. Before getting baptized St. Cyprian the Priest-Martyr had been a famous magician, Satan’s servant and favorite. Once Satan even seated him on his throne and promised to make him the prince of devils after death. Cyprian`s savageness and power instilled terror into people; he was dreaded and worshipped like a deity. But the Devil who conferred him powers on sending diseases and death; on arousing storms; on wasting lands turned out a quite powerless person before a meek Christian virgin named Justina who set up an insurmountable barrier before the dark force by her fasting praying and sign of the cross. And a miracle occurred – the great magician came to Christ, repented his sins, and took up the fearful and agonizing fight against Satan. For that deed the Lord gifted St. Cyprian the grace of helping people in their struggle against the Devil. Therefore Sts. Cyprian and Justina are recommended by Church to be invoked against temptations and jeopardy. Afterwards St. Cyprian became a priest and was martyred together with St. Justina in 304 in the times of Diocletian's persecution of Christians.
Beside the spread arms of crucified Christ there stand the Archangels Michael (on the left) and Uriel both empowered to help people in struggle against spirits of spite. They strengthen our faith; enlighten our minds with the light of Gospel. Они укрепляют в нас святую веру, просвещают ум светом Евангелия. The Archistratigus Michael is portrayed with a sword in his hand. He is the warlord of heaven host; he precipitated from Heaven Lucifer who had risen against God. The Archangel Uriel has flame in his hands. He brings Divine light to the world, and rules over heavenly bodies.
Above the Crucifix we see the Vernicle Image of the Saviour. That was a towel whereby Christ had wiped His face that imprinted on the towel. Christ gave it to the painter Hananiah who appeared to be unable to portray Christ, and endowed by His healing power. Since ancient time this image has been the basic protecting symbol in Christianity.
At the cross foot there is pictured the most famous Dragon-Slayer – St. George the Victorious. In Christian tradition dragon symbolizes the universal evil, a sin, the Prince of Darkness as well as his servants. Therefore the victory of the Christian warrior over the dragon is just a victory of a hero of courage over a fabulous monster, but the triumph of Church over the evil forces. St. George coming to rescue the princess sacrificed to the dragon is the symbol of salvation of a human soul of enthrallment by sin and spiritual death.
One more dragon fighter is portrayed on the cross reverse.
This is St. Theodore Stratelates, the Great Martyr. Armed with a sword and a prayer he defeated the dragon devouring people and livestock in the neighborhood of his native town Euchaita. For his courage St. Theodore was appointed the commander (stratelates) in Heracleia where he brought many people to Christianity. The saint was martyred: first crucified, and then beheaded on February 21 (8), 319. St. Theodore Stratelates the Great Martyr is pictured with raised sword to the right of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God.
The Kazan icon of the Mother of God is the central image of the cross reverse. It is one of the most worshipped icons in Orthodoxy; Russia sacred object not of human making; its shield during invasion; guard against demons for everyone.
On the left of the icon we see the image of St. Nicetas the Great Martyr called “the Exorcist”; above there is portrayed the Most Orthodox Prince St. Alexander Nevsky, the Protector of Russian land.
St. Nicetas the Great Martyr being a son of the Emperor Maximian was a Christian. The father ordered his son to be exposed to inconceivable torments, and imprisoned for three years thereupon. Here a demon appeared before him in the likeness of an angel, and tried to tempt him. But Nicetas having offered a prayer grasped its hair, step on its foot, and beat up with his chains. When the father again called him for interrogation, the saint brought the demon by the hand, and showed the father who ruled over him. Besides Nicetas resurrected a married couple that had died long ago. But nothing could bring Maximian to Christ. And then the entire town with the Empress in the lead rose against him. That day Nicetas baptized 18400 persons, and soon reposed in the Lord. It is said in his life story that he helps in learning, drives out demons, liberates of thralldom, and helps to repent of one's sins and to free oneself from being tempted by the Devil.
St. Alexander Nevski (1220-14.11.1263) is a great warrior and man of prayer, a zealot and constructor of Russian land. In hard times of invasions he was the only Orthodox ruler (not only in Russia, but in Eastern Europe) who did not make a compromise with Catholic Church for the sake of his rule retention, and protected the Orthodoxy with the sword against aspirations of papacy.
At the cross foot there are icons of Holy ancestors of St. Alexander, the Most Orthodox Princes Sts. Boris and Gleb killed by their elder brother in 1015. Just 27 years after of the Baptism of Russia the holy brothers showed their congeners got into the way of vendetta that there is no way of rendering evil for evil, even if facing dead. Gospel says: “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, cannot love God whom he hath not seen (1 John 4, 20). Sts. Boris and Gleb gave their lives for observing laws of love and obedience whereon spiritual life of human beings and all sorts of social life. Their blood became the basis of unity of Russia, themselves becoming protectors of Russian land and people."
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